Lincecum Cited for Possession: Hitters Aren't the Only Thing He Smokes
If you're under 35 or have spent ANY time on the West Coast, the news that Tim Lincecum was pulled over and arrested on misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession isn't exactly surprising. Note that it was possession and NOT driving under the influence, which would be a different tune.
Anyway, it's the offseason, the Freak is relaxing, and he's a product of the Pacific Northwest.
Here's a little secret—weed is really popular on the West Coast.
If you drive through Los Angeles, the only thing you'll see more often than a palm tree is an advertisement for medical marijuana. Hollywood has become overwhelmingly pot-friendly. The City of San Francisco has decriminalized possession of small amounts. That haze over Humboldt County ain't smog.
You actually risk a contact high simply driving through Oregon. Washington, too, if not for all that rain.
The Franchise was born in 1984 outside of Seattle and grew up in the same suburb. He attended the University of Washington before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants. Once in the Gents' system, he threw his Minor League innings in Oregon, San Jose, and Fresno. In other words, his entire life except for vacations and road trips has been spent inside the Pot Brownie Belt.
Furthermore, the horde of athletes caught for or otherwise acknowledging a Mary Jane indulgence is only growing bigger and stronger.
There are world-record holders, Olympic gold medalists, Super Bowl winners, Pro Bowlers, All-Stars from Major League Baseball, the same from the National Basketball Association, Hall-of-Famers, and so on.
Michael Phelps, Mark Stepnoski, Randy Moss, Ricky Williams, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Charles Oakley, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Bill Walton, and the hits keep comin'.
Seriously, Google "marijuana pro athletes."
Not only is the sheer volume of names astounding, the phenomenon has grown to the point where theories are sprouting up that it's actually beneficial , especially in football where the movement has found proxies in Stepnoski and Williams (yes, that's a link to Forbes ). The former tepidly advocates for its use as an alternative pain killer and the latter as a superior treatment for his emotional disorder.
Take particular notice of the heavy representation by sports requiring far more aerobic endurance than professional baseball.
Way back in D.A.R.E., we were told the two primary deleterious consequences of marijuana use were damage to lungs and cognitive functions.
Well, I'd never dispute the idea that inhaling smoke is harmful to lung tissue, but just how harmful and at what levels seem up for debate given the increasing number of dabblers whose substantial livelihood is directly tied to respiratory efficiency.
As for the effects on the brain?
Again, no argument from me—as a fellow product of the West Coast, I know my share of stoners and the stupids are no joke.
However, nobody ever said you needed to be a rocket scientist to play these games. Shoot, when I played, my tendency to over-analyze and get locked in my own head was one of my main weaknesses. Maybe intelligence ain't all it's cracked up to be if you get paid for your physical prowess, who knows?
Remember, Tiny Tim's niche in life is to throw a little ball passed a muscled-up freak of nature with a wooden club for our amusement. He's not solving the economic crisis or the health care crisis or the war in Afghanistan or balancing the doomed State budgets...dear GOD, that's a full plate for America.
But I digress.
I'm trying to say that Tim Lincecum's judgment isn't a matter of national import. He's a supremely gifted athlete, not a father in absentia or any other kind of role model for our children.
If you've been snowed by the soft-focus nostalgia pieces MLB was using to sell the sport, my condolences. Nonetheless, it's no shameful revelation that Lincecum's cherubic dimples and juvenile enthusiasm for the game are merely window dressing for a flawed human with vices like the rest of us.
It never could've been any other way.
Don't get me wrong—I'm not suggesting America's youth should find their nearest neighborhood dealer nor that ganja is a trivial thing. As with any ingestible substance on this planet—like alcohol, tobacco, or even water—abuse of marijuana is a serious and dangerous thing. It's a horrible idea for any youngster to pick up a pipe.
As it is a horrible idea for that youngster to pick up a can of beer or cigarette. Yet nobody throws a fit if Pro Athlete A or Celebrity B rocks a brew or a fag. That's my point.
Tim Lincecum is a 25-year-old adult, a grown man, and marijuana is not heroin.
So let's all act accordingly.
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